|DH took this not far from the finish line!|
My official time was 32:22, so I didn't manage to run under 30 minutes as I had hoped, but no biggie! I forgot to switch my watch off at the end until after I had untied my transponder - the watch clocked 33:02 and 5.2km, with a fastest 5k of 31:21, so I'm not sure which time is more accurate. I was 13/42 in my age group (40-49) - here I am on the results table, tucked in between Paula Radcliffe and Nikki Samuels:
Overall I was 117 out of 270 men, women and children!
Here are a few of my thoughts and lessons learned.
I need to get my warm-up sorted, because I felt sluggish* to begin with. I was trying hard not to commit my usual race crime and go out too fast, but there was an uphill at the start with heavy turf underfoot and I know my heart rate shot up which was exactly what I was trying to avoid! So basically my start wasn't great, and I was pleased to finally hit some flat pavement and recover a bit.
- Lesson 1 - warm up properly
- Lesson 2 - plan a starting strategy
- Lesson 3 - run at own pace
- Lesson 4 - others might pass you now, but you might pass them later
- Lesson 5 - kids - either avoid them or enjoy them!
I overtook a young woman at one stage, but as I ran around the markers to turn into the next street, I saw her completely cut the corner and get ahead of me - all my hard work reining her in was wasted - gah! I felt pretty good going up Church St and passed a few more runners, then entered the small park where the drink station was at the 3k mark.
- Lesson 6 - passing is fun!
- Lesson 7 - you don't need to drink during a 5k, and can advance several places without even trying at a drink station
- Lesson 8 - don't get stuck behind people slowing you down
On bumpy ground I've discovered I'm more sure footed than a lot of people. This could come back to bite me one day, but it sure came in handy on a couple of uneven downhills where I easily overtook 2-3 people making their way down more tentatively.
- Lesson 9 - use any sure footedness to your advantage, but never risk injury
- Lesson 10 - try to run in a straight line
- Lesson 11 - think of an energy saving one-syllable word that is easy to say when you are puffing that means 'excuse me please' yet still doesn't sound impolite.
I had to walk for another 30 secs to catch my breath, which gave me enough oxygen to make a final effort around to the finish line where I finished strongly. I always seem to run like a yo-yo at the end of races!
- Lesson 12 - know exactly where the finish line is
- Lesson 13 - plan a finishing strategy within my limits.
Overall the Devonport Classic is a great well organised run on a scenic course, and I think I did OK for me. I'd like to tackle it again next year and improve upon my time. I know that with some hill-training, this year's hills will seem half the size, so that's entirely do-able. But the best thing is that my son is interested in having a go too, after seeing so many other kids out there having fun!
How was your running weekend? Do you have any race tips for beginners? Or know a mono-syllabic way of saying "excuse me please" err, politely, whilst puffing uphill?
*I write this as I lie in bed the next day, sneezing, with a runny nose, which might also explain feeling sluggish!